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I have another journal, but this one is strictly for notes about my new diet.


Saturday, February 23, 2002

This may be long-ish. It's the sort of thing I'd write in my regular journal, if my mother didn't read it. But she doesn't know about this one, so I'll write it here.

Let me start out by saying that I love my mother. She's a wonderful person, but she was raised in an era where hospitality meant food and drink. The second thing you hear when you enter her house, after "hello" is "what can I get you to drink?" And the third is "what would you like to eat with that?"

Tonight there was a family dinner for my birthday and Walt's birthday. We got there early, as requested, because she needed help with moving a heavy table. I could tell immediately that I was going to have difficulty staying on program. If there was ever any doubt about my being a compulsive overeater to the point of addiction, tonight erased all doubt.

On all the end tables were bowls of cashews. In the kitchen was a huge bag of potato chips, on the counter was a bowl with dipping sauce and there was a box of crackers. There were eight of us for dinner.

I sat there trying to have a conversation and I desperately wanted cashews. So I decided to let myself have some, but in a controlled manner, which meant taking out my WW book, checking the point, figuring how many I could have (7 for 2 points), taking exactly 7 and eating them slowly. That really did work as far as the cashews went (as soon as the bowls were half empty, she filled them up again).

Then came the dish of potato chips with dip, and the shrimp for the sauce, and crackers with crab (my favorite food in all the world) heaped on them.

Resolutely, I checked point value for everything before allowing myself to eat anything. Unfortunately I couldn't measure, so had to eyeball. I may have had more than 1/2 cup worth of shrimp, but not too much more. I had two crackers with crab before checking the point value for the cracker (4 points for ONE OUNCE!) I don't know how much 2 crackers weigh, but I counted it as 4 and stopped then and there. I don't know what the crab was mixed with, so I couldn't tell exactly how to count it. I decided to give myself a generous number of points (i.e., on what I thought was the high side) and decided I'd eaten 10 points worth of food. My mother kept saying "Now you all finish all that food, now. "

Dinner was pork loin, mashed potatoes (with lots of butter), green beans (ditto), and hot roles. I took the smallest piece of pork, one scoop of potatoes, and hoped that eating lots of beans would compensate for whatever butter was clinging to it. I passed on the rolls. When the table was being cleared, she asked "Are you sure you got enough to eat, Bev?" (she did not ask anybody else that question; you always ask the fat person if they've had enough to eat, even if your heart is in the right place and you are only trying to be hospitable.)

Then she brought dessert--one of those glazed fruit-on-custard torts. Probably a bazillion calories. And she gave me the knife to cut it. I passed out pieces to everyone and finally succumbed and cut a piece for myself (this definitely put me over on points for the day), but I only cut one teeny piece--not really a whole piece, just about 3" off of one corner--enough to get a taste. And I know I shouldn't have even had that much.

When we went to leave, she asked if I wanted to take THE OTHER HALF of the tort with me!!!! Me who shouldn't eat it and Walt who doesn't like desserts. To my credit, I said that I didn't want it.

She wasn't deliberately sabotaging my diet; she just can't help herself. She doesn't feel like a good hostess unless she's stuffing people full of food and drink. She was disappointed, for example, when she started putting out wine glasses and I pointed out that only three of us would be drinking wine, since I don't drink any more, two people are in AA and Walt's mother doesn't drink either.

But the "compulsive eating" part came with how I reacted to all of this. A friend, who is in his 4th year of alcohol recovery, told me recently that a "normal person" doesn't spend all his/her time thinking about booze or food. And I sure spent all evening thinking about all that food. Calculating what I could eat, trying to keep from eating too much, sitting there bothered because it was all just SITTING there and I wanted to eat it. Had to have it in my hands, in my mouth, and fighting the temptation to just throw caution to the wind for the evening.

When I had finished serving dessert, it just SAT there at my elbow and I so desperately wanted to have a normal piece like everyone else. I couldn't concentrate on the discussion at the table. I just was focused on NOT eating the dessert. I was successful. I didn't devour everything in sight (and didn't have a single Hershey's kiss, which was also out for people to help themselves), and I passed on the chocolate mints that made the rounds after people had finished the fruit thing.

As I said, I love my mother and I know she wants the best for me, but she just can't seem to realize that there's got to be a better way to be a good hostess than putting together all this stuff I shouldn't be eating...and, really, what the others shouldn't be eating either.

But, with a minor glitch of the dessert, and not having a way to measure portions (and probably thus going over a bit on them), I did OK. I may be over on points, but I feel good about having more self-restraint than I have had in the past.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

I was absolutely amazed to discover I'd lost 5.8 lbs last week. Since I was away over the weekend and not able to stick strictly with the program, I was sure it would either be a small loss or no loss at all, but no--5.8 lbs. That makes 22 all together. I went back and checked my journal of the last time I did this--at 12 weeks, I had lost 18 lbs and hadn't started exercising. I'm in week 7 of this program and have lost 22 lbs, haven't cheated really (except for possibly this weekend, when I tried to stay on program, but couldn't know how much the restaurant foods were), and am exercising every day. Plus, by this time last time I was starting to feel "deprived" and I don't feel that way at all t his time.

I discovered a wonderful thing this weekend: Splenda!!! This is a sugar substitute, made from sugar, which has zero calories and no aftertaste, like "the blue stuff" or "the pink stuff" do. I made a great "dessert" last night--1 cup of milk (I used 1%), 1 cup of frozen berries, 1 tsp of Splenda and whip all until it becomes the consistency of soft ice cream. I had intended to drink it like a milk shake, but when I got all the berries blended up, I discovered it was more like ice cream, so I ate it with a spoon. What's more, it was a delicious, sweet dessert without the empty calories like skinny cow or the graham cracker/Cool Whip sandwiches.

I've also started using Taco Bell cheese salsa, which is 1 point for 2 Tbsp. I make an omelette of 1 egg + 1 egg white and fill the omelette with sauteed mushrooms and onions (sauteed in a pan sprayed with butter flavored PAM), and then add the salsa with the veggies. It makes a wonderful breakfast and is only 4 points, which allows me to add some fruit to it as well. I've discovered that a 7 point breakfast seems to be what works best for me.

This just "feels" different this time around. I know I"m going to stick with it. And I think the exercise is a huge part of it. I never thought I'd say that.

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